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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 20 December 2014
SATURDAY 20 DECEMBER 2014 31 NEWS FEATURE survive. Here I have a fine job in a hotel and my wife works for a small airline company. We are happy and safe. The law protects our labour and we will spend this Christmas by the beach in Broome and catch fish. Even though we are homesick sometimes, nothing compares to leading a normal life,” says Konstantinos Karounis. “I feel lucky. I’m not a citizen but I have family here, so I sold everything and came to Australia with my husband. I have set up my own cleaning agency business and have been doing great for three years now. I miss Greece, but I sure don’t miss the situation and the crisis, so I am more than happy to spend this Christmas in Australia, too. I do know of other newcomers who are facing difficulties and are alone here, though,” Ourania Katopodis adds. “I came here with my wife nearly three years ago. This Christmas we are going to Greece. We want our two-year-old son, who was born in Greece, to spend these holidays at home. We came here and we’re both working 70 hours a week to save money. I had to study at the university, in order to bring my family here on a student visa. It has been hard and we don’t know if we made the right choice. We are making enough money to pay off our mortgage in Greece. We aren’t going out and our goal is to someday go back. We haven’t been able to acclimatise to this way of life and forgive me for saying, most Greek Australians aren’t very supportive of Greek Greeks who just come here to work. As if they forget how they came to Australia,” says Yiorgos Tasoulakos. “For me it’s one word. Paradise. I can’t really summarise it any better. I’ve been here for a year. I can work. I have no worries, not the kind of anxiety that gets you depressed in Greece. I feel like I’m in heaven. It’s going to be the best Christmas,” says Sarantis Fotiadis. It looks like Australia has been a pleasant self-development journey for all of us newcomers, through which not a single day goes by unutilised. One can reap the benefits of their hard work, creativity and passion and still live life at its fullest. I feel that the majority of Greek and Cypriot migrants in Australia all feel as grateful to this fine land for the opportunity for a less stressful reality and a better future, despite temporary hurdles. We are all somewhat homesick, but our stay here is definitely worthwhile and makes us appreciate the good side of life.
13 December 2014
10 January 2015